Increasing Use of Biologics in the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
People with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the United States and countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. (EU5) are increasingly being treated with biologic therapies versus glucocorticoids. A new report found out that biologic treatment with therapies like Benlysta (belimumab) and Saphnelo (anifrolumab) grew 32% in both the US and EU5 compared to 2022.
Data from 1,011 people with SLE in the U.S. and 1,257 people with SLE in the EU5 was analyzed. American rheumatologists were found to be prescribing biologics more often than their EU5 counterparts. Additionally, 20% of Americans with moderate to severe SLE were more likely to receive biologic treatment compared to people in the EU5. Regardless of disease severity, Benlysta use in people with kidney involvement has increased in both the U.S. and EU5; however, for those without kidney involvement, Americans have expanded use of the drug, while those in the EU5 have not. While the use of Saphnelo is slowly increasing across the U.S. and the EU5, growth in the U.S. is hindered due to reimbursement issues and ongoing clinical trial study for use in lupus nephritis which is not expected to yield results until 2028.
When taken long-term, glucocorticoids have been associated with side effects like high blood pressure, diabetes, infection and osteoporosis. EU treatment guidelines recommend against long-term use of glucocorticoids. Learn more about medications used to treat lupus.
Interested in getting research like this straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our bimonthly Inside Lupus Research email for all the latest.